Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (May 2008)

Science news and science current events archive May, 2008.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from May 2008

Tumor suppressor genes speed up and slow down aging in engineered mouse
Mayo Clinic researchers have developed an animal model that can test the function of two prominent tumor suppressor genes, p16 and p19, in the aging process. Scientists knew that both these genes were expressed at increased levels as humans and mice age, but their role in the aging process was not clear. Findings by the Mayo team show that p16 provides gas to accelerate cellular aging, while p19 stops that process.

Highlights for APA's 116th Annual Convention in Boston, Aug. 14-17
Presentation highlights for APA's 116th Annual Convention and press registration information.

Word/logic bank to help build 'thinking' machines
Information scientists have announced an agreement on a

Land tenure conflict in Kenya turning into strong inter-ethnic territorial claims
North-West Kenya's Mount Elgon district has since the 1970s been the arena of a lurking land access conflict which boiled up at the very heart of the Sabaot community, the majority ethnic group in that part of the country. The past two years or so have seen the conflict take on an extra dimension. An IRD researcher, working jointly with the Kenyatta University of Nairobi reviews its origins and the reasons for its recent intensification.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the May 14 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

HIV and illicit drug use -- a new way forward?
The United Nations needs to rethink its strategy on dealing with HIV and illicit drugs this year, concludes a comment published in this week's edition of the Lancet, authored by Joanne Csete, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Daniel Wolfe, Open Society Institute, New York.

World first discovery -- genes from extinct Tasmanian tiger function in a mouse
Researchers from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and the University of Texas, have extracted genes from the extinct Tasmanian tiger, inserted it into a mouse and observed a biological function -- this is a world first for the use of the DNA of an extinct species to induce a functional response in another living organism. The results are published in the international, scientific journal PLoS ONE this week.

Active social life may delay memory loss among US elderly population
In a new study, Harvard School of Public Health researchers found evidence that elderly people in the US who have an active social life may have a slower rate of memory decline.

Natural compounds in cocoa tied to blood flow improvements for adults with type 2 diabetes
Consuming a cocoa flavanol-rich beverage daily may have the potential to positively impact the blood vessel dysfunction associated with diabetes, suggests a first-of-its-kind study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology by an international group of scientists. Study participants who regularly consumed a cocoa flavanol-rich beverage made using the Mars, Incorporated Cocoapro process experienced a 30 percent improvement in measured vessel function at the completion of a 30-day trial.

American Pain Society's low back guideline expanded to cover interventional procedures
For low-back pain patients and their doctors, the American Pain Society said today it is expanding its evidence-based, clinical practice guideline on diagnosis and treatment of chronic low back pain to include recommendations on surgery and other interventional treatments. The expanded guideline was previewed today in a symposium at the APS Annual Scientific Meeting.

Apples, apple juice shown to prevent early atherosclerosis
Long-term consumption of antioxidant-rich apples and apple juice may prevent atherosclerosis, according to researchers from France.

AUA 2008: Higher cholesterol increases the risk of biochemical failure after radical prostatectomy
Poor cholesterol management may not only affect a man's risk for prostate cancer, but also his risk of biomedical recurrence after prostatectomy, according to new data from Duke University.

Abnormal 'editing' of gene messages may be a cause of lupus
Researchers at Wake Forest University have uncovered evidence that the abnormal

Insect release proposed to control exotic strawberry guava
US Forest Service scientists with the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry have submitted a proposal to release a Brazilian insect to control the spread of strawberry guava, a South American tree that has invaded and degraded native HawaiĆ­an ecosystems since it was introduced in 1825 as a garden plant.

Researcher strives for watershed moment
According to the World Health Organization, water scarcity affects four out of every 10 people around the world and population growth, urbanization and increased domestic and industrial water use are making the problem worse. By examining the relationship between global warming and pollution, a researcher at the University of Western Ontario hopes to help protect future water resources.

AGU Journal Highlights -- May 14, 2008
In this issue: Did global sea level rise start centuries ago? Clues suggest U.S. east coast subsided; Wind-launched ocean eddies; Ancient Antarctic dust reveals past wind patterns; Lab tests show plate-slip progression; Atlantic surface temperatures linked to south Asian monsoons; Investigating Andean stress patterns; Climate models overheat Antarctica; and Ozone-hole recovery may spur Antarctic warming.

Flip flops, mulch and no coat
At a time when over half of US children (aged 3-6) are in child care centers, and growing concern over childhood obesity has led physicians to focus on whether children are getting enough physical activity, a new study of outdoor physical activity at child care centers, conducted by researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, has identified some surprising reasons why the kids may be staying inside.

Weizmann Institute scientists create new nanotube structures
Scientists from the Weizmann Institute's Materials and Interfaces Department, are developing techniques to coax carbon nanotubes to self-assemble into ordered structures -- essentially making the nanotubes do the hard work for them.

A gentle touch for better control, a quantum mechanical con, and milestone PRL papers
Physicists find that a gentle touch can help control particles and other objects better than a heavy hand; quantum mechanics leads to a novel con game.

National Inventors Hall of Fame welcomes 2008 inductees
On May 2-3, 2008, the National Inventors Hall of Fame welcomes its 36th class of inductees. Receiving the honor for 2008 are the inventors such as Amar Bose who is known for his audio innovations, Nick Holonyak who created the LED, and chemist Ruth Benerito who discovered wrinkle-free cotton.

Corticosteroids not linked with reduced risk of death for children with bacterial meningitis
Use of corticosteroids in addition to other treatment for children with bacterial meningitis is not associated with a decreased risk of death or shorter hospital stay, according to a study in the May 7 issue of JAMA.

ASGE issues updated guidelines on antibiotic prophylaxis for gastrointestinal endoscopy
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has issued updated guidelines on antibiotic prophylaxis for gastrointestinal endoscopy based on the American Heart Association's recently revised guidelines for prophylaxis of infective endocarditis. For endoscopic practice, the administration of prophylactic antibiotics solely to prevent IE is not recommended for patients who undergo GI-tract procedures. The updated ASGE guidelines reflect that change. The guidelines appear in the May issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal of the ASGE.

Scientists decipher fruit tree genome for the first time
Researchers from several universities of the USA and China have sequenced for the first time papaya genome; they have also identified the DNA of a transgenic organism for the first time. Prestigious scientific journal Nature has echoed this research work in the cover of its last number.

Premature tooth loss can affect oral health for years to come
According to a study published in the March/April 2008 issue of General Dentistry, the AGD's clinical, peer-reviewed journal, parents and caretakers more often than not do not know what to do with a traumatically affected tooth and do not take proper steps to respond to the injury, which can affect their child's oral health permanently.

Phase 3 data: Anti-RSV antibody to be presented at Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting
MedImmune today announced that researchers are currently presenting results from a MedImmune-sponsored Phase 3 study involving motavizumab, an investigational monoclonal antibody that is being evaluated for its potential to prevent serious disease caused by RSV in high-risk pediatric patients.

Wandering poles left scars on Europa
Curved features on Jupiter's moon Europa may indicate that its poles have wandered by almost 90 degrees, report scientists from the Carnegie Institution, Lunar and Planetary Institute, and University of California-Santa Cruz in the May 15 issue of Nature. Such an extreme shift suggests the existence of an internal liquid ocean beneath the icy crust, which could help build the case for Europa as possible habitat for extraterrestrial life.

Saving frogs before it's too late
Highly diverse and so far apparently untouched by emergent diseases, Malagasy frogs nevertheless are threatened by ongoing habitat destruction, making proactive conservation actions especially important for preserving this unique, pre-decline, amphibian fauna.

Observations from space: NASA environmental data and lung disease
NASA gathers a tremendous amount of data on the environment that can be helpful in understanding lung disease. In a session at the ATS 2008 International Conference called

International Diabetes Federation grant supports study to prevent type 2 diabetes in India
The International Diabetes Federation BRIDGES translational research grant program will fund a lifestyle intervention trial that seeks to reduce the risk of for people developing type 2 diabetes in Chennai, India. The community based diabetes prevention program will determine optimal ways to translate the programs developed for research studies of lifestyle interventions for diabetes prevention to real-life settings in Chennai, India.

SAGE acquires 2 new medical journals
SAGE, the world's fifth largest journals publisher, today announced its continued expansion in medical publishing with the acquisition of the British Journal of Diabetes & Vascular Disease and Journal of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System.

A molecular 'salve' to soothe surface stresses
Researchers at NIST have shown for the first time that a single layer of molecular 'salve' can significantly soothe the stresses affecting clean metal surfaces. The discovery may help scientists to understand the factors that influence surface stress, which is important in a broad array of applications from chemical and biological sensors to semiconductor manufacturing and metal plating.

U of A device to measure wind on Mars will soon be landing
A University of Alberta scientist is counting down the days for when the Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft lands on Mars. He created an instrument on the lander called the Telltale.

Anti-HIV drugs reduce the cause of some forms of vision loss
A potential new therapeutic use for anti-HIV drugs known as protease inhibitors in limiting the vision loss that often follows retinal detachment has been suggested by researchers studying the effects of the drugs in a mouse model of the condition.

Accelerating the Dissemination and Translation of Clinical Research into Practice
The National Institutes of Health is hosting a series of meetings on May 8 and 9, 2008, to discuss ways in which researchers can partner with community health care providers to translate clinical research into practice. Columbia University Medical Center will present results from a three-year contract to help re-engineer the NIH Clinical Research Networks program.

New statistical method reveals surprises about our ancestry
A statistical approach to studying genetic variation promises to shed new light on the history of human migration.

Miracle leaves that may help protect against liver damage
Sea buckthorn berries are well known for their cholesterol busting properties, but scientists in India say that its leaves are also rich in antioxidants and may help ward off liver disease, according to new research due to be published in the Society of Chemical Industry's Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

People with obstructive sleep apnea at risk for cardiac stress on airline flights
People with severe obstructive sleep apnea on commercial airline flights may have a greater risk of adverse events from cardiac stress than healthy people, according to new research to be presented at the American Thoracic Society's 2008 International Conference in Toronto on Sunday, May 18.

Aerospace business leader, supreme problem solver
The National Science Foundation and its policy arm, the National Science Board, this week presented its annual awards, the Alan T. Waterman Award, the Vannevar Bush Award and the Public Service Award.

People who participate in clinical research generally wish to know the research results
A review of past studies examining whether people who participate in clinical research wish to know the results has found that most people do wish to be told, even if receiving the results might cause distress or anxiety. The review is published in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Rewriting Greenland's immigration history
The first immigrants in Greenland were not Indians from the North American continent or Canadian Inuit as previously suggested. And it is not just a question of revising the Greenlandic immigration history. The discovery is the world's first successful attempt to sequence an entire mitochondrial genome from an extinct human.

New study shows positive role physical therapists play in lymphedema diagnois and treatment
A recent study shows that pre-operative assessments of patients with breast cancer by physical therapists allow for early diagnosis and successful treatment of lymphedema. The study, conducted by the National Naval Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health and in collaboration with the University of Michigan-Flint and George Mason University, was published in the journal Cancer.

Yale's Scassellati gets Microsoft Human-Robot Interaction Award for Robotics
Brian Scassellati, associate professor of computer science at Yale, has received an A. Richard Newton Breakthrough Research Award from Microsoft to design programs that will allow robots to

New vaccine approach prevents/reverses diabetes in lab study at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
Microspheres carrying targeted nucleic acid molecules fabricated in the laboratory have been shown to prevent and even reverse new-onset cases of type 1 diabetes in animal models. The results of these studies were reported by diabetes researchers at the John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Baxter Healthcare Corporation.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, June 2008
Stories on the following topics are from the US Department of Energy: navigation, electronics, biology and energy.

New research shows overheating newborns can increase the risk of SIDS
New research at the University of Calgary shows that smoking while pregnant, as well as thermal stress, can lead to an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Increased ambient temperature such as over-wrapping a baby at night time or increasing the room temperature can affect the baby's pattern of breathing.

U of Saskatchewan distinguished researcher finds an SOS response to cancer-causing agents
University of Saskatchewan microbiologist Wei Xiao, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, has found a way to trigger a protein combination called 9-1-1 that sends an SOS signal for cells to fight cancer-causing agents such as industrial toxins, ultraviolet radiation and X-rays.

Earth's sediments record a falling sky
A new publication by the Geological Society of America illustrates the sedimentary record of meteorite impacts on Earth. Senior volume editor Kevin R. Evans of Missouri State University notes that

ACP issues clinical practice guideline for screening for osteoporosis in men
ACP today released a new guideline on screening for osteoporosis in men. Studies show that osteoporotic fractures result in substantial disease, death, and health costs in men. The guideline calls for physicians to assess the risk factors for osteoporosis in older men. Clinicians should obtain a DEXA scan for men who are at increased risk for osteoporosis.

European study initiated to compare sirolimus-eluting stenting vs. balloon angioplasty
Cordis Corp. will compare its Cypher Select + (Plus) sirolimus-eluting stent with balloon angioplasty, the company announced today at the EuroPCR meeting in Barcelona. The multicenter, prospective, randomized ACHILLES study will evaluate the performance of stenting vs. balloon angioplasty in patients with below-the-knee (infrapopliteal) peripheral artery disease.

Flu pandemic medical help left in the waiting room
GPs are not an integral part of Australian influenza planning, despite the important role they will play in limiting deaths in the event of a pandemic hitting the country, according to research from the Australian National University. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to